Edited by: Online News G

Ravenscroft alumni advise on the joys and perils of college life.

     Recent graduates of the Upper School shared their post-secondary experiences.  Topping the list of concerns was avoiding gaining the stereotypical “freshman 15,”



or the excess weight that many freshmen have been reported to gain due to unlimited food options and unregulated exercise in college. Still, alumni offered timeless advice, regarding academics, college preparation, and student life.

     On Friday January 04, 2019, eight former Ravenscroft students gathered in Jones Theater during morning meeting to form an alumni panel. Panelists included: Nina Barnett , UNC-Chapel Hill, and Mateo Schiemann, NC State University, from the class of 2015; Gage Czito, Boston College, and Emerson Burkhardt, NC State University, from the class of 2016; Natalie Lang, UNC Charlotte, and Chris Little, NC Central University, from the class of 2017; and  Camilo Corrales, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Claire Garcia Quintanos, Christopher Newport University, class of 2018.

     Students advised current Upper Schoolers on a number of college-related topics. They urged Ravens to eat healthy, to exercise, to attend class, and to be present in classes, paying attention while in them. Alumni also encouraged students to go to office hours, to re-read notes after class, and to read textbooks. Areas of academics where alumni felt prepared by Ravenscroft included, but were not limited to, art history and English.  Claire Garcia Quintanos noted that her ability to take notes during art history lectures helped her to make an “A” on the first test in the class. Nina Barnett claimed that the Ravenscroft English Department prepared her well for college-level writing. According to Barnett, rigorous preparation in her Upper-School English classes made it easier for her to write in college. Gage Czito prompted Ravens to “study along the way” instead of “cramming” at the last minute for tests.

     On the non-academic side, panelists advocated joining discipline-specific fraternities and sororities and attending fall festivals that introduce clubs, organizations, and affinity groups. Other advice offered included knowing your interests, so that you can connect with like people; and paying attention to flyers and emails to gain additional information. Alumni also advised Upper Schoolers to be sure to get to know their college advisers, whose primary roles may be to check course registration. Alumni also noted that students could consider switching advisers if they are not working for them; and they encouraged trying service opportunities that respective colleges offer. To find good college matches, panelists advised students to start researching colleges early. Chris Little, for example, found that his time at a Historically Black College and University (HBCU) has offered a mostly positive experience. Ravenscroft Upper School College Counselor, Mr. Bill Pruden, noted the importance of hosting alumni panels. According to Mr. Pruden, “we in College Counseling believe that the Forum offers a different and valuable perspective on the college counseling process as well as the college experience itself.  Over the years it has proven to be a program that really resonates with the students as there is nothing like hearing from their peers to make an experience seem more real.”   

     In all, alumni suggested that students get involved on campus,  pay attention to academics, and take care of themselves. Students should make their college experiences work for them.